Former fugitive to represent himself in federal firearms case

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BILLINGS, Mont. An Iowa man who eluded authorities for nearly eight years plans to represent himself on federal firearms charges.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Michael Duane Strain of Lime Springs, Iowa, got permission to act as his own attorney this month. He was arrested in July at a remote ranch on a Montana Indian reservation.

Court documents say the 62-year-old defendant is a self-proclaimed sovereign citizen, a label used by people who contend they don't have to answer to government authorities.

Authorities say Strain had been a fugitive since being indicted in northern Iowa on two counts of a felon being in possession of a firearm.

During a 2011 search of his house, federal agents found thousands of rounds of ammunition and numerous firearms, including shotguns, handguns and rifles.